English as an Additional Language
The aim of the English as an Additional Language (EAL) Programme is to provide support to students whose mother tongue (first language) is not English. EAL support is available from grade 2 to grade 5. New students to the school are assessed and placed at the appropriate level of assistance. Because children are given attention individually or in small groups, an extra fee is charged for this programme.
EAL class takes place during the class language time and when the other students are learning a foreign language. Therefore they are participating in activities similar to what the mainstream class is doing but with more focus on increasing English language proficiency.
On average elementary school students need about 18 months to 2 years of some form of EAL support before they have sufficient English to function independently in the mainstream. But even here it is necessary to stress the words "on average". The actual time needed will depend on a number of learner variables, such as the native language of the learner, language learning aptitude, student motivation, similarity between the mother tongue languages, etc. When students can benefit from working with the mainstream class, they often continue to receive periodic support within the Programme at no additional cost.
All students whose first language is not English undergo a language assessment upon entry to ISPP. The EAL department, in collaboration with mainstream teachers, will periodically review EAL student progress. Student transfer to other EAL Programmes or full mainstream is dependent on established EAL exit criteria.
During EAL the children participate in many different activities designed to develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The students benefit from small group size where they can comfortably improve their presentation skills. Activities include home reading or group reading, re-telling a story, vocabulary games, drama, sentence structure practice, phonics activities, handwriting practice, and listening to stories and songs.